Categories: featured addons

Rotation of Featured Add-Ons on AMO

As I’ve previously described, we’ll be rotating the featured add-ons on a periodic basis. This evening we rotated out some category-recommended add-ons from the featured list and replaced them with others from the category-recommended list that haven’t appeared on the front page of AMO yet. Take a look at the latest batch. (You’ll be pleased to hear that more than 95% of the add-ons on this list are Firefox 3 compatible!)

Some of the metrics that I’ve been looking at attempt to measure add-on effectiveness and performance on the AMO site. For example, how much does having an add-on appear on the featured list help? What does it do from a number of add-ons downloaded perspective? What does it do to the active user count for that add-on?

For add-on downloads, I’ve been calculating the change in the 7-day moving average (this tends to eliminate day-of-week fluctuations). I compare the value before and after being on the featured list and note the percentage change. You would assume that with more “exposure”, the 7-day average for featured add-ons would universally increase across the period. But in fact, it doesn’t for all add-ons.

  • Some of the newer add-ons to the AMO site (low counts to begin with) saw a tremendous increase in download counts, even upwards of 500%.
  • Some add-ons had barely any change in their downloads, these were mostly “older” add-ons with reputations and history where the majority of downloads come from users searching for these add-ons by name. Adding them to the featured list did barely a dent to their download counts.
  • Some add-ons’ download counts actually headed south after being on the list. I attribute it to either a lack of interest in the functionality, bad description or because having it featured did not affect the overall downward spiral for the add-on.

As for changes in active user counts, I looked at the total change in active users before and after the featured period. This is a great metric because it is an indicator of how many users have tried it and still have it installed. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the users are using it on a daily basis but at least they didn’t uninstall it. All add-ons on the list had large positive values in absolute terms but what’s keys is the relative change compared to the existing active user base. Some add-ons saw as little as 3% increase in their active users, others saw 354% increase.

Finally, I looked at a metric to measure likeability or retention (active users/download). For those users that downloaded the add-on, how many decided to keep it. That ratio ranged from 9.5% to 48.0%.

I hope this provided a little more metric science insight to the building of the featured list. I’m hoping we can do a similar analysis on the production AMO site to uncover add-ons who are movers-and-shakers and help our broader user base discover cool new add-ons and keep them as loyal Firefox users.

2 comments on “Rotation of Featured Add-Ons on AMO”

  1. Staś Małolepszy wrote on

    Excellent post!

    I wonder if it would make sense to offer slightly different experince to users depending on how they arrive on an add-on’s page. If they searched for it ny name, it means that they know it and are mainly interested in downloading it, thus exposing the download button (the way we have it now) makes sense.

    However for people who are new to the add-ons worlds or who learned about the add-on thanks to the Featured list, the Download action is secondary—they first want to read about the functionalities and, even more importantly, see a screenshot. Thus, making the screenshot bigger might be beneficial for this scenario.

    In general, I’m not sure about the idea of having two layouts and two different experience scenarios, so let me call this comment brainstorming 🙂

    It might be also interesting to see if having an addon on the featured list improves the visibilty of the category the addon is in.

  2. Jonathan wrote on

    I can tell you our experience. For ThumbStrips it increased our downloads dramatically (7K to 70K per month). This allowed us to get some great feedback on releasing a FF3 compatible version.

    The difficult part of spending time developing an add-on that is open to the public is justifying the expense. The Featured Add-Ons list is one of those opportunities to prove out if further development is worth the investment in time. Continue the great work you have going on here and allowing us to get our products to as wide an audience as possible!